The lack of tournaments and showcase events has taken away some of the luster early on in the 2020-21 high school basketball season, but that is about to change. The St. James NIBC Invitational tips off Friday, beginning a 10-day stretch that features 17 matchups between teams ranked in this week's MaxPreps Top 25.
Top-ranked Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) faces both No. 2 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) and No. 3 Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.) in the Virginia showcase that runs through Jan. 18. Four other top 10 teams are scheduled to participate.
Newcomers to the MaxPreps Top 25 this week include No. 20 Milton (Ga.) and No. 25 West Oaks Academy (Orlando, Fla.), who rejoin the rankings after winning titles in separate fields at the Beach Ball Classic in South Carolina. No. 21 Pace Academy (Atlanta), No. 22 Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), No. 23 Atascocita (Humble, Texas) and No. 24 Central Pointe Christian Academy (Kissimmee, Fla.) all join the rankings for the first time this season.
Previous No. 21 Long Island Lutheran (Brookville, N.Y.) and No. 22 Marshall (Richmond, Va.) are notable omissions from the rankings this week after the season in New York was put on hold and Richmond Public Schools canceled winter sports entirely.
MaxPreps Top 25 High School Basketball Rankings
1. Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
Record: 8-0 | Last week: 1
Defeating opponents by an average of 48.5 points per contest so far this season, the Eagles have extended their overall win streak to 33 games.
2. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
Record: 7-0 | Last week: 2
Picked up close wins over No. 22 Calvary Christian (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Word of God Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.) over the holidays.
3. Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.)
Record: 5-0 | Last week: 3
The Buffaloes will take a crack at No. 1 Montverde Academy on Saturday at the St. James NIBC Invitational.
4. Paul VI (Chantilly, Va.)
Record: 0-0 | Last week: 4
Expected to begin season next week.
5. DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.)
Record: 0-0 | Last week: 5
Expected to begin season next week.
6. Duncanville (Texas)
Record: 13-0 | Last week: 6
Riding a 19-game win streak dating back to last season, the Panthers are 74-12 since David Peavy took over prior to the 2018-19 campaign.
7. Camden (N.J.)
Record: 0-0 | Last week: 7
NJSIAA season begins Jan. 26.
8. Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.)
Record: 0-0 | Last week: 8
PIAA season begins this week.
9. Legacy Early College (Greenville, S.C.)
Record: 8-1 | Last week: 9
After a lengthy break, the Lions return to the court this week to face No. 11 Wasatch Academy on Thursday and No. 10 La Lumiere on Saturday.
10. La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.)
Record: 0-0 | Last week: 10
Season begins this week with a huge opening night St. James NIBC Invitational contest against No. 11 Wasatch Academy.
11. Wasatch Academy (Mt. Pleasant, Utah)
Record: 11-0 | Last week: 11
The Tigers have an opportunity to bolster their national standing over the weekend, taking on No. 10 La Lumiere on Friday and No. 13 Oak Hill Academy on Saturday.
12. Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Record: 0-0 | Last week: 12
Season begins this week.
13. Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)
Record: 7-0 | Last week: 13
After a month off, the Warriors travel to the St. James NIBC Invitational this weekend. They're set to face No. 9 Legacy Early College, No. 10 Wasatch Academy and Hamilton Heights Christian Academy (Chattanooga, Tenn.).
14. O'Dea (Seattle)
Record: 0-0 | Last week: 14
Season begins Feb. 1.
15. AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, Ariz.)
Record: 13-0 | Last week: 15
The Dragons are scheduled to play seven games in the next 11 days.
16. Lawrence North (Indianapolis)
Record: 8-0| Last week: 20
The Hoosier State's top-ranked team continues to pull out close victories. Three of their first eight games have been decided by just one point, while their 65-60 win over Fishers on Dec. 22 took a pair of threes in a wild final 2.2 seconds to force overtime.
17. Hillcrest Prep (Phoenix)
Record: 17-0| Last week: 19
The Bruins have yet to be significantly challenged this season, defeating opponents by an average of over 40 points per contest.
18. Ypsi Prep Academy (Ypsilanti, Mich.)
Record: 2-1 | Last week: 18
First-year program has struggled to piece together a schedule, playing just three games. Michigan State pledge Jaden Akins recently left the program for unknown reasons.
19. Millard North (Omaha, Neb.)
Record: 10-0| Last week: 24
Under the radar senior Saint Thomas continued his tear over the weekend, leading the Mustangs to a 94-91 win over Bellevue West (Bellevue). He finished with 48 points and 12 rebounds on an efficient 19 of 27 from the field in the double overtime thriller.
20. Milton (Ga.)
Record: 12-2 | Last week: NR
Beat Gray Collegiate Academy (West Columbia, S.C.), Greensboro Day (Greensboro, N.C.) and No. 22 Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) en route to the Beach Ball Classic title.
21. Pace Academy (Atlanta)
Record: 10-1 | Last week: NR
The Knights have been on a roll following a season-opening loss to Sandy Creek (Tyrone), capped by a signature win Dec. 22 over Grayson (Loganville).
22. Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Record: 8-3 | Last week: NR
Jumps into the MaxPreps Top 25 for the first time after advancing to the title game of the Beach Ball Classic. Calvary defeated previously-ranked Cannon (Concord, N.C.), Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati) and Oak Ridge (Orlando) en route to the final.
23. Atascocita (Humble, Texas)
Record: 10-0 | Last week: NR
Quality wins include Manvel, Shadow Creek (Pearland) and Fort Bend Hightower (Missouri City).
24. Central Pointe Christian Academy (Kissimmee, Fla.)
Record: 14-2 | Last week: NR
Signature early-season victory over No. 25 West Oaks Academy highlights an impressive start for the White Tigers.
25. West Oaks Academy (Orlando, Fla.)
Record: 9-3 | Last week: NR
No. 13 in the preseason rankings, the Flame jump back into the MaxPreps Top 25 after winning the Beach Ball Classic Winter Jam. They handled previously-ranked Combine Academy 69-65 in the title game.